Chelsea are to reduce their spending on players, according to chief executive Peter Kenyon.

His comments come as Chelsea publish figures showing they have lost £88m this year – a record for a British football club.

“In 2003-04, we spent a massive £175m, in 04-05 we spent £88m and in 05-06 it’ll be considerably less,” he said.

Kenyon said Chelsea were cutting back with a view to the future, aware that the current chairman, the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who has bankrolled Chelsea’s huge outlay since arriving at the club in July 2003, will not be around for ever.

“I think that’s where we’ve been responsible, looking at the long-term view on Chelsea,” added Kenyon.

“Chelsea will be around long after myself and Mr Abramovich are not here. so it’s our job not to just look after Chelsea this year but to ensure Chelsea’s in good shape for years to come.

“And there’s no better way of doing that than ensuring the long-term viability of the club to make sure that even if it’s not making massive profits it’s not losing lots of money.”